And Art Came To The Metro
14 July, 2016
Travelling in big cities has the major drawback of having to cover large distances from one point to another. In such cases the metro is usually our best solution, saving us long journeys by bus, endless walks or uncertain (and expensive) taxi rides. This form of public transport, which funnels us through the bowels of the large urban connurbations – with the odd, welcome foray to the surface above ground – is very useful for spanning long distances. However, that descent into the depths can be rather claustrophobic and even an ordeal for some. And, considering the fact that we are sometimes hard put to find our bearings in the city, and that metro signs are not always as intuitive as we would like, the experience can end up being quite exhausting and stressful. Who hasn’t got off at the wrong stop at least once on the London Underground, for instance!
Stockholm, like many other European capitals, boasts a magnificent underground network for moving about the city. So far, so good. However, unlike other countries, Sweden’s capital has elected to create a more pleasant, inspiring experience by decorating many of the metro stations with artworks. Around 90 of the total of 110 stations making up the network enable commuters to enjoy the work of over 150 artists who were specifically commissioned to take part in this project. Paintings, ceramics, bas-reliefs and sculptures adorn the premises, turning the ordinarily humdrum act of taking the metro into a more agreeable and interesting experience.
Construction of the Stockholm metro network began in 1950. Right from the outset, its public function was taken into consideration, as was the idea of embellishing it with artworks. The first stations to be built were those on the green line, dating from the nineteen fifties, notably the T-Centralen, a junction now crossed by the three main metro lines. The good practice of incorporating art into station design has endured until the present. Among the most impressive examples we encountered on our trip were those to be had at Solna Centrum and Rådhuset, of which the latter resembles the very gateway to Hell.
The Stockholm metro has generated so much buzz that it has become a major meeting point for tourists. And, just like any other city museum, it is the object of guided tours in summer (from June to September) which is when the largest number of visitors come to Stockholm. You are advised to head for the tourist office at the T-Centralen station, which is where you can book tours and where they start from – the guided tours are in English only.
Book your Vueling to Stockholm and discover the artworks which adorn the metro stations of that beautiful city for yourself.
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS
14 July, 2016